Nothing beats the experience of sending an email message to recipients in your B2B contact list for the first time. The mixed feelings of anxiety, excitement, hesitation, and resolve all come together in your consciousness a few nanoseconds before you hit the send button. But wouldn’t it be nicer to get some kind of reassurance that you already have everything covered before blastoff?
Today’s blog entry is dedicated toward giving some level of peace of mind to anyone who’s about to send his or her contact list recipients the all-important “first-touch” email. The first email you transmit does have the ability to make or break (pardon the cliché) your campaign in an instant. Keep the following hints in mind to improve your chances at successfully riding the initial email wave:
1. KISS or MISS. Keep it short and sweet or run the risk of making it sound senseless. The key idea here is to get right to the point of whatever you’d like to convey. Go through your initial copy and see which sentences, phrases, or even words contribute to unnecessary lengthiness and revise or remove them altogether.
2. Use a punchy subject line, not just a catchy one. A lot of email marketing references always stress the point of coming up with “catchy” subject lines. But catching or grabbing the attention of recipients in your email contact database is just one part to really reel them in. To get the job done, you’ll need a punchy subject line, something that delivers an impact instantly.
3. Connect the dots yourself. Since it’s the first time your readers are going to see your name in their inboxes, you should make it a point to briefly describe how your message ended up on their screens. After introducing yourself, you need to mention how you’re connected or how you’ve managed to establish a connection with your recipients. Don’t make it hard for them to trust you.
4. Make reading your email a lot easier. Aside from keeping your initial email as concise as possible, you have to work on keeping your message easily readable. This means making use of bullets (whenever appropriate), balancing the layout, choosing eye-friendly color schemes, etc. First impression lasts; don’t make your recipients’ first encounter a terrible one.
5. Never use attachments. To virtually all contacts in your email list, you’re simply a stranger the first time you establish email communications with them. Nobody in his or her right mind would open or download files attached to emails from someone they don’t know. Use landing pages instead to let readers download white papers, reports, or what-not.
6. Limit your links. Stuffing too many links into your first email carries a lot of risk. First of all, emails with excessive numbers of links can trigger spam filters and cause deliverability problems. In addition, readers can easily become overwhelmed with too many links and get distracted from the main point you want to say. Keep your links at a minimum. About 2 or 3 will do.
7. Avoid taking shortcuts. Cutting corners in planning and creating your first-touch email is a fatal mistake. Never overlook or skip important steps in preparation like doing your research, matching your content with the audience, proofreading your copy, and walking through your email marketing systems. You might get lucky and pull it off the first time, but the next one might end differently.
8. Don’t make it your last email. Your first email is supposed to be only one in a long series of touch points to engage with your prospects or customers. Don’t make it appear as if it were your last. Stress on continuing your conversation or following up on reader responses. Make your readers look forward to your next email.
These eight points are extremely important for email marketers working with an email list bought or rented from a mailing list provider as the first-touch email plays a more definitive introductory role. Of course, these tips also apply for emailing contacts in a subscriber list. In both situations, it’s all about making a positive first impression.